A New Source: University of New Mexico Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

A New Source: The University of New Mexico Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

Earlier this summer, we became aware of the existence of historic University of New Mexico Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes. These documents, made available graciously through the work of the University Senate office, contain a plethora of information about women at the University of New Mexico. In the exhibit below, we raise question about what kind of information we can gather from this source. What questions does the source raise for you? 

About the University of New Mexico Faculty Senate

Created in 1894, the University of New Mexico Faculty Senate coordinates faculty governance at the University of New Mexico. Originally, as Portia Vescio (UNM Archivist) notes, the Faculty Senate had large faculty meetings at least four (4) times a year with the entire faculty and a Policy Committee that reviewed rules and regulations of the faculty. The Center for Southwest Research at the University of New Mexico contains some of the meeting minutes from this body (1894-1916, 1928-1955, and 1962-2000) and the University Secretary contains additional volumes (1920-2003). 

The entire faculty attended the early meetings. However, as the University grew in size, it became difficult to conduct meetings with every single faculty member. Instead, departments and even colleges elected representatives who could advocate on their behalf with University administrators. The Faculty Senate exercises the faculty's responsibilities for education, care of students, and their contributions to the academic excellence of the university.

University women are prominent in these documents. They were representatives for their departments, they contributed to committee work, and they shared their opinions about the mission of the University. Lena Clauve, the Dean of Women, can be found throughout the documents advocating for University women for example. 

Explore the meeting minutes for yourself:

Digitized Faculty Senate meeting minutes in UNM's Digital Repository

Finding Aid for the Inventory of the University of New Mexico Faculty Senate Records, 1894-2009

1930-1931 Roll of the University of New Mexico Faculty Senate.

Hover over the image to learn more about the University of New Mexico Faculty Senate. 

This is the second page of the 1930-1931 Roll for the University of New Mexico Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes.

About the University of New Mexico Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

The UNM Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes are quite formulaic. Each year begins with the roll call. DISC faculty and staff elected to use the 1930 to 1931 roll call for this exhibit because it also overlaps with our student data. After the roll call, each bound volume contains the meeting minutes from each meeting. The University Secretary was responsible for this dictation. Meeting minutes will include committee appointments, committee work, and even notes on discussions that occurred. Importantly, too, they contain records of votes on particular issues.

--by Mary Wise

UNM Female Faculty Experience
A New Source: University of New Mexico Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes